Tag: Gretchen Rubin

Quotes February 26, 2019

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“My greatest skill has been to want but little.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“We prefer to see those to whom we do good than those who do good to us.”
La Rochefoucauld
“Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar.”
William James, Habit
“The road up and the road down is one and the same.”
“It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.”
St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul
“There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”
Francis Bacon
“The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us.”
Mary Oliver, Long Life, “Habit, Differences, and the Light That Abides”
“The way to love anything is to realise that it might be lost.”
G. K. Chesterton, “The Advantages of Having One Leg”
“The most congenial social occasions are those ruled by cheerful deference of each for all.”
Goethe, Maxims and Reflections
“The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.”
Elizabeth Hardwick, The Paris Review, interview
“Every man is, no doubt, by nature, first and principally recommended to his own care; and as he is fitter to take care of himself, than of any other person, it is fit and right that it should be so.”
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
“We are so accustomed to disguising our true nature from others, that we end up disguising it from ourselves.”
La Rochefoucauld
“When a situation develops gradually, no matter how weird that situation is, you get used to it.”
Andy Warhol, POPism

Quotes February 07, 2019

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“There are three main avenues on which one arrives at meaning in life. The first is by creating a work or doing a deed. The second is by experiencing something or encountering someone; in other words, meaning can be found not only in work but also in love…Most important, however, is the third avenue to meaning in life: even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself.”
Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
Henry James
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
“Everything that makes more of you than you have ever been, even in your best is right. Every intensification is good.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“Energy is the only life, and is from the Body.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“There is in this world no function more important than that of being charming. The forest glade would be incomplete without the humming-bird. To shed joy around, to radiate happiness, to cast light upon dark days, to be the golden thread of our destiny, and the very spirit of grace and harmony, is not this to render a service?”
Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea
“It is harder to fight against pleasure than against anger.”
“Wherever you are it is your own friends who make your world.”
William James
“Idleness is often covered by turbulence and hurry. He that neglects his known duty and real employment naturally endeavours to crowd his mind with something that may bar out the remembrance of his own folly, and does anything but what he ought to do with eager diligence, that he may keep himself in his own favour.”
Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings
“Life is barren enough surely with all her trappings; let us therefore be cautious of how we strip her.”
Samuel Johnson, Hester Lynch Piozzi, Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, Custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this,
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence; the next more easy:
For use can almost change the stamp of nature,
And master even the devil, or throw him out,
With wondrous potency.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
“If you do the same thing every day at the same time for the same length of time, you’ll save yourself from many a sink. Routine is a condition of survival.”
Flannery O’Connor, letter to “A,” 10 Feb 62
“But then one regrets the loss even of one’s worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one’s personality.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Quotes January 19, 2019

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“I only study the things I like; I apply my mind only to matters that interest me. They’ll be useful—or useless—to me or to others in due course, I’ll be given—or not given—the opportunity of benefiting from what I’ve learned. In any case, I’ll have enjoyed the inestimable advantage of doing things I like doing and following my own inclinations.”
Nicolas de Chamfort
“To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life.”
William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life
“Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”
Kierkegaard, letter, 1847
“When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“…the man who works so moderately as to be able to work constantly, not only preserves his health the longest, but in the course of the year, executes the greatest quantity of works.”
Adam Smith
“Anxiety and Ennui are the Scylla and Charybdis on which the bark of human happiness is most often wrecked.”
William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life
“Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.”
Francis Bacon
“There is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch
“He who chases two hares will catch neither.”
Publius Syrus
“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“A state of affairs which leads to daily vexation is not the right state.”
“It was on a bright day of midwinter, in New York. The little girl who eventually became me, but as yet was neither me nor anybody else in particular, but merely a soft anonymous morsel of humanity—this little girl, who bore my name, was going for a walk with her father. The episode is literally the first thing I can remember about her, and therefore I date the birth of her identity from that day.”
Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance
“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to further progress.”
Samuel Johnson, Rambler

Quotes January 01, 2019

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“It is a great thing if you can persuade people that they are somehow or other partakers in a mystery. It makes them feel bigger.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
“Liberty is the daughter of authority properly understood. For to be free is not to do what one pleases; it is to be the master of oneself, it is to know how to act within reason and to do one’s duty.”
Emile Durkheim, Education and Sociology
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
“Purity strikes me as the most mysterious of the virtues and the more I think about it the less I know about it.”
Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being
“Things do not change; we change.”
Henry David Thoreau
“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.”
Benjamin Franklin
“There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.”
Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head
“It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks, and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home.”
Theodore Roosevelt
“Everything that frees our spirit without giving us control of ourselves is ruinous.”
“Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognize.”
Diane Arbus
“Yet the definition we have made of ourselves is ourselves. To break out of it, we must make a new self. But how can the self make a new self when the selflessness which it is, is the only substance from which the new self can be made?”
Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

Quotes December 17, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin


“Energy is Eternal Delight.”

“Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“Gardening is one of the rewards of middle age, when one is ready for an impersonal passion, a passion that demands patience, acute awareness of a world outside oneself, and the power to keep on growing through all the times of drought, through the cold snows, toward those moments of pure joy when all failures are forgotten and the plum tree flowers.”
May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep
“Seeing them come and go [from the graveyard], and come and stay, I began to be moved by a compassion that seemed to come to me from outside. I never said to myself that it was happening. It just came to me, or I came to it. As I buried the dead and walked among them, I wanted to make my heart as big as Heaven to include them all and love them and not be distracted. I couldn’t do it, of course, but I wanted to.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”
James Joyce, Ulysses
“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
Bertrand Russell
“Touch has its ecstasies.”
Helen Keller, The World I Live In
“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience,” from The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees Which in the Clover dwell.
Emily Dickinson, “It’s all I have to bring today”

Quotes December 04, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“Meaning is not a property of the world, but something we attach to the world.”
Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book 6
To a friend troubled by melancholy, Samuel Johnson suggested: “If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.”
Samuel Johnson letter to James Boswell, October 27, 1779


Quotes courtesy of Lori Deschene/Tiny Buddha

“When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.”
Paulo Coelho
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your own understanding.”
Khalil Gibran
“How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young or slender. ‘Thank God!’ we say, ‘those illusions are gone.’”
Alain de Botton
“You can have your experience without your experience having you.”
Linda Pransky
“Every moment of your life is a second chance.”
Rick Price
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Our spiritual mission is not to ignore the darkness, but to bring light to the darkness.”
Marianne Williamson
“I’m not sad about any of my life. It’s so unconventional. It doesn’t look anything like I thought it would.”
Edie Falco
“You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.”
Philip Arnold
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
“Its amazing how quickly someone can becomes a stranger; its even more amazing how quickly someone can become a treasured friend.”

Quotes December 02, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“If we do not alter with the times, the times yet alter us. We may stand perfectly still, but our surroundings shift round and we are not in the same relationship to them for long; just as a chameleon, matching perfectly the greenness of a leaf, should know that the leaf will one day fade.”
Elizabeth Taylor, A Game of Hide-and-Seek
“One lives in the naïve notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.”
Elias Canetti, The Human Province
“There is a charm, even for homely things, in perfect maintenance.”
Louis Auchincloss
“Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.”
Ovid, Amores
“Seeing them come and go [from the graveyard], and come and stay, I began to be moved by a compassion that seemed to come to me from outside. I never said to myself that it was happening. It just came to me, or I came to it. As I buried the dead and walked among them, I wanted to make my heart as big as Heaven to include them all and love them and not be distracted. I couldn’t do it, of course, but I wanted to.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

Quotes November 25, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“The infinite wonders of the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them. The keenness of our vision depends not on how much we can see, but on how much we feel….Nature sings her most exquisite songs to those who love her.”
Helen Keller, The World I Live In
“There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed.”
Samuel Johnson, The Rambler No. 86 (12 January 1751)
“The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness.”
Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
“One looks at maps, and does not truly apprehend the extent and variety of the world.”
John Williams, Augustus
“It is interesting how keen people are for you to do something they would never dream of doing themselves.”
Rachel Cusk, Outline
“You tend to close your eyes to truth, beauty and goodness because they give no scope to your sense of the ridiculous.”
W. Somerset Maugham
“One does not deceive oneself about the consequences of one’s acts; one deceives oneself about the ease with which one can live with those consequences.”
John Williams, Augustus
“One does not deceive oneself about the consequences of one’s acts; one deceives oneself about the ease with which one can live with those consequences.”
John Williams, Augustus
“Sweep everything under the rug for long enough, and you have to move right out of the house.”
Rachel Ingalls, Mrs. Caliban
“There is something in living close to the great elemental forces of nature that causes people to rise above small annoyances and discomforts.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, essay, February 1917

Quotes November 10, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one.”
Jerome K. Jerome
“Once in those very early days my brother brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make it a toy garden or a toy forest. That was the first beauty I ever knew. What the real garden had failed to do, the toy garden did. It made me aware of nature—not, indeed, as a storehouse of forms and colors but as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant….As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother’s toy garden.”
C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.”
Kazuo Ishiguro, interview

Quotes October 23, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“For surely to be wise is the most desirable thing in all the world.”
“If I had to describe perfect happiness, I might say it is hearing the first bars of the overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” as the orchestra starts to play at the beginning of the evening. Even writing the words brings a smile.”
Claire Tomalin, A Life of My Own
“My mind works in idleness. To do nothing is often my most profitable way.”
Virginia Woolf
“One lives in the naive notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.”
Elias Canetti, The Human Province
“The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.”
“Endurance is only the beginning. There must be acceptance and the knowledge that sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is an alchemy to sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.”
Pearl S. Buck, The Child Who Never Grew
“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings
“That which gives the strongest habitual pleasure, whether it be innate or acquired, will in the great majority of cases ultimately dominate.”
William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life Conduct and Character
“Each time of life has its own kind of love.”
Leo Tolstoy, “Family Happiness”
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
Proverbs 19:11
“Ah! There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.”
Jane Austen, Emma
“Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”
Bertrand Russell
“The hallmark of a decision in line with one’s character is ease and contentment, and an ample, even provision of natural energy.”
Anne Truitt, Turn: The Journal of an Artist
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across a thousand miles and all the years we have lived.”
Helen Keller, The World I Live In
“Any pleasure that does no harm to other people is to be valued.”
Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness
“Where Thou art—that—is Home.”
Emily Dickinson